We just got back from a child welfare clinic, aka baby central. These clinics are held either at Ahoe Market, Miracle Life Center, or the HOPE Center. Today, we were at Ahoe Market, where we set up shop with basically just a table and a few chairs. Children between the ages of 0-5 years old can come to these clinic days and receive different vaccinations including measles, yellow fever, and PENTA, as well as polio drops and vitamin A supplements. The weights of the children are also monitored at these clinics, which is the data that I’ve been using to determine which children are underweight and should be placed in the test group for the nutrition program. Mothers also receive a little baggie filled with ground up maize and soya beans, which can be added to their meals to give their children extra protein and nutrients. Allyson, Kathleen, Joey, and I were hard at work weighing babies, recording weights, and giving vitamin A supplements.
After the commotion in the morning had died down, all of us were able to try to hold babies on our backs the way the women here do! Most women carry their children on their backs using a piece of cloth that is wrapped around both baby and mother. Women can carry their children like this when their child is as young as a 4 months all the way up until their child is 7 or 8 years old. It’s a lot easier than carrying a baby in your arms all day. It’s like a backpack, but a whole lot cuter! -REEMA GHATNEKAR